Inclusiveness is THE leadership quality you need to cultivate

Questions that are on my mind today:
Why do organizations lump Diversity in with Inclusion?

Okay, I do understand…. But does it serve an organization to lump them together? I often hear people talk about diversity as the “mix” - that’s casual for counting the who’s and what’s. Diversity is about who’s being hired and promoted and what their backgrounds / characteristics / identities are (disability, gender, ethnicity, etc.). And inclusion is about the how.

How welcoming is the workplace for people who are not from the organization’s (or society’s) dominant group? I see inclusiveness as an art. It’s the music of your workplace and if you’re really inclusive, you can follow that music from everyday encounters into the behaviors and performance reviews. You see, a truly inclusive workplace fully integrates those values in all its norms, rules and systems for reward and advancement.

So, I do understand why organizations lump D&I together. But now it’s time for my big HOWEVER… wouldn’t it make more sense to make Inclusion one of the more important, if not THE most important, skill for Leadership?

Please name one skill that Leaders need more, especially in this day and age:
Communication - well, I’d say inclusiveness is part of the art of communication. You need to communicate your goals clearly and you need to win buy-in. If inclusiveness is front and center in Leadership, you make everyone an insider in your mission.
Motivation - nuff said.
Creativity - We all know that inclusiveness encourages a diverse workforce to be more innovative and studies show, more profitable.

Inclusion, or the more active, inclusiveness is at the heart of being a leader. As a leader, you want to include everyone in your dream, your vision, your strategy and tactics. That can’t happen when people are at the table but they’re not encouraged to share everything they’ve got just because they’re not of the majority group. Let’s do this. This is why I make the films and courses and workshops I do.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Although I’ve turned off comments because of robots on the web, please email me. I’ll continue in another post another day.

Joel Lesko